St. Francis Concludes Memorable Regular Season, Ready for League Tourney

Photo courtesy John Petersen The St. Francis varsity boys’ lacrosse team recently concluded its most historic regular season with a 7-7 record. The Golden Knights, guided by third-year head coach Jared Little, will compete in the Mission League tournament this Saturday.
Photo courtesy John Petersen
The St. Francis varsity boys’ lacrosse team recently concluded its most historic regular season with a 7-7 record. The Golden Knights, guided by third-year head coach Jared Little, will compete in the Mission League tournament this Saturday.

The St. Francis High School varsity boys’ lacrosse team suffered two consecutive Mission League losses since last Saturday, including a 15-4 defeat to first-place Los Angeles Loyola. However, head coach Jared Little is entering the league tournament with plenty of optimism.
“In the past, we would just fold against Loyola,” said Little, who is in his third season with the Golden Knights. “We lost to them 18-2 in years past, and this is a team that has won the regional title three years in a row. We still ended up losing, which is disappointing, but we had opportunities. We were just not finishing, and that’s a sign of a young team. They will learn eventually.”
This year’s squad has already shown a level of maturity no other has since the program began seven years ago. The Golden Knights finished the regular season with a 7-7 record and defeated Sherman Oaks Notre Dame, Valencia, La Verne Damien, Palos Verdes Peninsula, Sun Valley Village Christian, Los Alamitos and West Hills Chaminade.
“This is the best team in the history of the program,” Little said. “This year was all about changing the culture of the program and laying the tradition for years to come like the better programs in the east coast. In the midst of changing the culture and laying down our foundation, we have not had a game where we did not compete. It’s a lot of fun to watch the boys go after it.”
Prior to the season, Little spoke to administrators, who supported his plan and encouraged him to pursue his goals for the program.
“They knew I wanted to do a culture change, and get all of the stuff that’s in a serious program in place,” Little said. “This was the year I pulled the trigger and went all in, making changes. All of these changes weren’t made to win games. They were made to establish the best culture we’ve ever had, and the administration was more than thrilled.”
The changes made the athletes to commit to the team, forcing those weren’t as into the sport to leave the team.
“They have embraced it,” Little said. “Those who didn’t want to commit selected themselves out. I want the kids who want to be part of the program and culture change. I want those who want to work hard and be here.”
That dedication led the players toward a historic regular season in which the Golden Knights are ranked No. 14 in the area. Five of the six teams in the Mission League are ranked among the top 15.
Michael Lund is one of the team’s leaders on offense and Carston Peterson is the top scorer. Austin Heberger and David Baker have played well defensively, and Will Ferguson is “phenomenal in the faceoff,” according to his coach.
“They are fantastic,” Little said. “We got guys playing really well. Also, we’re young. We are full of freshmen, sophomores and juniors. It’s impressive to realize how well they are doing and will be back again next year.”
Little will be able to count on everyone listed on the roster this week. His players are rested and recovering from illness and injury, giving him confidence going into the Mission League tournament.
“We’ll be going full throttle into the game this Saturday,” Little said. “This is the second time this season I will have a full roster.”
The Golden Knights will begin the league tourney this weekend.

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